Author Topic: What book would you recommend?  (Read 4428 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2009, 08:42:02 PM »
Yes, we do.  Our daughter is a freethinker, always has been since day one even though her dad made her go through all the catholic stuff.  When she turned 18 he gave her a choice to continue to go to church or not.  She told him, "NOT!!!"  He says he is disappointed in her for that choice and that he feels like he has failed her.  Our son is still at home and it is a repeat scenario, son hates church and churchy stuff, he says he can not swallow the BS but is not old enough to tell his dad "No" yet.  Son confides in me his dismay with what they are telling him.  I direct him to resources for his own discovery of facts.  Son will make his own decision when he is 18 and seems to be following in daughter's foot steps.  Dad is the odd man out in the family.  Both his family and mine are not religious and most are proclaimed freethinkers now (it has not always been this way though).



So, how do you see this playing out between you and he?  If my wife were religious, I cannot see how it could possibly work. We have had several situations here where a atheists posted horror stories about religious spouses.  More than one man's wife essentially held the children hostage if they did not go to church.  Do you foresee this kind of emotional blackmail?

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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2009, 11:17:34 PM »
Already happened.  Daughter is an adult now and out of the house and a freethinker.  Son is 12 y.o.  Hubby is holding son hostage.  Son must go with dad to church every Sunday and also to indoctrination classes that dad teaches every other Sunday night.  Son agreed to go so dad would stay off both son's and my butts.  Son has friends in the class and he is the class trouble maker (on purpose).  Dad is in the choir at church and son is in the audience on his own and sneaks out and plays game boy outside.  Son sneaks back in for communion then back outside again.  He meets his dad outside after service.  Son sees it as a big game.  Son and I have lots of discussions about all religions, the 1st amendment, history, evolution, etc.  Son is a freethinking kid but he is still discovering things.  I'll give him the facts, resources, and encouragement to find his own answers so he can make his own decision about religion and not accept his dad's nor my "view from authority" on it.

Hubby is happy thinking that his son is getting exposed to the same dogma that he loves so much.  Hubby is not on either of our butts because that was the deal.  I agree son goes to church but hubby has to teach (work for him and hopefully he might learn what Bs it is) and I get to educate him in alternate religious and non-believing/freethinking views.  Hubby also agrees that when son is 18 he can voice his choice of to go to church or not to go.  Daughter choose not to go.

Hubby's continued belief and my discovery that it was crap almost ended our marriage on many occasions.  But we decided in counseling that we had to make a choice of whether we wanted to stay married.  We did and it became conditional.  Religion is basically out of bounds without a referee or rule book.  We have rules we both agreed to when it comes to discussing anything "religious".  No ad hominem attacks is rule number one.  If one of us gets angry then the talk is over.  We have a code word to signify a timeout.  Plus lots of other rules.  Since this agreement, life has been a lot happier, it's been a couple of years on this trail and so far so good.  My hubby is a good man, he's just psychotic when it comes to religion.
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Offline Fridge

Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2009, 11:24:50 PM »
No offence, but that seems like the wrong order. Indoctrinate him till 18, then let him make up his mind about what he wants. IMO, he should be left alone as far as religious thought until 18, then given the choice.
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2009, 11:39:35 PM »
Yes, I agree, that's exactly what I wanted! 

Son is only going through the motions for dad's sake and to keep peace in the home.  Son already knows this is crap and has made a game with himself to find the hypocrisy, contradictions, evilness of what they may "study" in class.  He feels the "indoctrination" is having the opposite effect, the more they throw at him the more he learns it's wrong.  Son says its ok, he'll know first hand what this faith believes in an how foolish they really are.

It is my persistance that he not choose yet.  He is still young and I don't want his dad accussing me of "poisoning" our son against religion.  I show my son by example.  I give him the tools and encouragement to think for himself.  The church doesn't want him to think.  He's a thinker.  He knows this.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2009, 11:37:43 AM »
Is your husband following through on his agreement to read a book of your choosing?
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Offline Petey

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2009, 12:04:52 PM »
I can't believe that I didn't think of this one earlier.  "Memnoch the Devil" by Anne Rice.  And yes, this is from well before she started writing for Jesus.  The only drawback is that the entire book is a lot easier to follow if you've read the earlier books in the "vampire chronicles", and are familiar with at least the backstory of Lestat.  At any rate, it doesn't necessarily support an atheist point of view, but rather provides a lot of situations that force a person to look at their beliefs from a different perspective and at least ask themselves the all-important "what if" question.

If he were more of a reader, I'd even suggest starting him off with "Interview with the Vampire" and have him go through the whole series.  That way, you wouldn't even have to consider it as part of the "deal" since it was leisure reading.  ;)
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2009, 12:07:03 PM »
It is on his night stand right now, "next in line".  He said he'll read it after he finishes the novel he is reading now.  I told him I had read his book, guilt works with hubby, so hopefully he'll now feel even more obligated to read it since I have read his.
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2009, 12:15:46 PM »
Thanx Petey, It might work better if he saw me reading it first as leisure reading.  He's not that much of a reader and he only reads a couple of pages a night but when he goes on business trips he reads on the planes and gets a lot of it done (no trips in the very near future though).  He also likes to alternate between fiction and non-fictions with every other book.  I'll look into Rice's (earlier) works in this series, I've never read any of her works.  Thanks for the suggestion!
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2009, 11:58:09 AM »
Already happened.  Daughter is an adult now and out of the house and a freethinker.  Son is 12 y.o.  Hubby is holding son hostage.  Son must go with dad to church every Sunday and also to indoctrination classes that dad teaches every other Sunday night. 

What if you said no?  The cases I was talking about were men who were atheists and whose wives threatened to leave them and take the children if they did not toe the line. Was that your situation?

My hubby is a good man, he's just psychotic when it comes to religion.

It sounds to me like you are making excuses for him.  Would you continue to be married to him if he were psychotic about anything else?

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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2009, 01:15:37 PM »
screwt., 

Thanks for the quizzes, it gets me to remember why I've decides to remain in this relationship and also the relationship hubby has with son.

I did say "no" to church attendance and indoctrination classes as well as other overtly religious crap that hubby pushed for (unnecessarily).  We went down the divorce path but he realised he "loved" me and was willing to make concessions.  I too had to make concessions to remain in the relationship.  Through mediation, I gave into hubby dragging son to church but I get to give a counter view (as I deem fit) and hubby must be burdened with the indoc teaching (work for hubby and one more avenue for him to see the absurdity of that dogma).  Son and I use his church going as a lesson in superstition.  We find the similarities in the mass to other dead religious practices.  Son sees that Christianity is not unique.  Son has asked not to go to mass but just a few times a year, (it's too boring).  When he is told, by dad, that he must, son asks if they could at least go somewhere else that is different because he wants to see how others "do" their religious rituals.  Dad has given in only once and that was because there was no catholic church in town.  I, on the other hand, have taken him to services of various belief systems, then we discuss them.  He has been to Shinto ceremonies, Buddhist, Jewish service at our local Chabad, Mormon, Assemblies of God (good show this one - lots of crazies jabbering in "tongues" all at once - we both got a big laugh), just to name a few.  So the giving in to him going to church is not a big thing for son or myself but it is a big deal to hubby/dad. 

I'm not making excuses for hubby, he IS a good man, normally he is very rational.  In his profession he HAS to be.  But it is just this one area of his life that is irrational.  I've weighed the pros and cons, costs and benefits of a relationship with this person and have concluded that the scales tip toward keeping him.  I have hope that some day he will realize how absurd his religious belief has been and the harm and waste it has caused.
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Offline kevyrat69

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2009, 03:40:49 AM »
I can't believe that I didn't think of this one earlier.  "Memnoch the Devil" by Anne Rice.  And yes, this is from well before she started writing for Jesus.  The only drawback is that the entire book is a lot easier to follow if you've read the earlier books in the "vampire chronicles", and are familiar with at least the backstory of Lestat.  At any rate, it doesn't necessarily support an atheist point of view, but rather provides a lot of situations that force a person to look at their beliefs from a different perspective and at least ask themselves the all-important "what if" question.

If he were more of a reader, I'd even suggest starting him off with "Interview with the Vampire" and have him go through the whole series.  That way, you wouldn't even have to consider it as part of the "deal" since it was leisure reading.  ;)

Petey,

Loved that book and I read her others in that series but Memnoch was awesome and you should read her witches series also.

I looked at your list and did not see any of D.M. Murdocks books so I will shamlessly give her a good report on her book Who Was Jesus?
The Fingerprints of the Christ.  To me it asked the hard questions about Jesus that nobody can answer and finds proof that can say he didn't exist.
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

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Offline Petey

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2009, 07:38:10 AM »
Kevy, I definitely intend to read her witch books at some point, as she kind of brought that world together with the vampire world in "Merrick", and it was very interesting.

Mkb, I'd like to thank you for the idea of a "book trade-off".  I'm going to try this with my father.  A few years ago (shortly after I announced to my family that I no longer shared their religious belief) he recommended that I read "Purpose Driven Life".  I clearly remember him promoting it as "not very religious...just a lot of common sense stuff".  What a crock that turned out to be.  Chapter 1: "It All Starts With God".  Ugh.

I recently started reading it (I'm about half-way through) and the reading process goes as follows: Read a chapter (usually 5-10 pages), bang head on desk for a couple minutes, jot down some comments on what I just read, rinse, repeat.  It's obvious after just the first couple chapters that one of two things is true.  Either Rick Warren is a complete idiot and actually believes the crap he's spewing, or he's just in it for the money and expects his readers to be complete idiots and actually believe the crap he's spewing.  This book contradicts itself more on a per-page basis than even the Bible.

Ok, enough ranting.  So once I've finished it, I will give it back to him and say "I read one of yours, now you read one of mine."  I'll probably also go with "50 Reasons", because he is also overly irrational and stubborn when it comes to his religion.
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Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2009, 11:41:37 AM »
Petey,

I've been after hubby for a long time to read "the other side."  He keeps spouting off about how and what he thinks freethinkers think without ever finding out if what he thinks/says is true.  When I correct/point out his errors he is either a) is dumb founded (it is illogical to him that what we think makes sense since we don't believe in god), b) is skeptical of the information I give him (but does nothing to verify it so he ignores or discounts it), or d) denigns the validity of the statement (i.e. the information is wrong/false because god has to be part of the answer).  He has yet to accept or acknowledge my answers as true.

I'm hoping that "50 Reasons..." will pry open his mind just a wee bit so some stale air can escape and let in some fresh air.  Some of his misconceptions will be dispelled and he may be curious for more.  We'll see.  I'm now thinking about what second book to offer if he is so inclined to read one.  I wish to strike while the iron is still hot.  If I wait too long to hand him another book (if he is willing) he may not be so agreeable to accepting it.

If your father thought Warren was "not very religious... just a lot of common sense stuff" then "50 Reasons..." would be a good first book for him.  His statement would be equivalent to you handing him Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and saying "it's religion friendly."  IMO Warren is nothing more that a greedy snake oil salesman (and a complete a$$).

Throughout reading D'Souza's book, I punctuated it with, "no, that's not true," "he's using only a half truth here," "that's a misquote!" "he's taking this totally out of it's original context," "this guy's making this stuff up!" "that's a flat out lie!" "this guy is so full of s**t!" ... you get the picture.  Unfortunately, people who buy and read this book (like hubby) thinks he is great and what he says is true.  They will take his word for it and not check his facts.  I recommended hubby to read the references D'Souza used, I don't think that's ever going to happen though.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 03:17:05 PM by mommykicksbutt »
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2009, 01:08:53 PM »
Regarding Warren, and his book "The Purpose Driven Life", please listen to this audio interview with Robert M. Price on that:

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/robert_m_price_the_reason_driven_life/


He has written a book ("The Reason Driven Life"), to counter Warren's drivel:

http://www.amazon.com/Reason-Driven-Life-What-Earth/dp/1591024765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238004472&sr=1-1
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Offline Kitty Vincent

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2011, 05:17:41 PM »
Please forgive me if this is considered "Necroing", but I have a proper suggestion.

In response to most people asking me 'what a good transition book for a young christian might be', I have always suggested the works of Jiddu Krishnamurti.  Particularly the medium sized book, "Freedom from the Known".


Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2011, 12:18:36 PM »
Kitty Vincent, I'll have to add that book to my reading list.

If anyone is at the point where they are ready to question Christianity (as I began to a couple of months ago), I would suggest The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan. Sagan called himself agnostic and never changed his position because, as he stated, "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know."  IMHO, this guy was a genius. It took a lot of intellectual honesty for him to say those words.

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Offline velkyn

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2011, 01:27:30 PM »
It's easy to know that there are no gods for an atheist as I am.  To believe in a god, and in my opinion to be unsure about a god's existence, one must take every concept of what a god might be and ignore it, making the word "god" meaningless. 
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2011, 03:18:27 PM »
It's easy to know that there are no gods for an atheist as I am.  To believe in a god, and in my opinion to be unsure about a god's existence, one must take every concept of what a god might be and ignore it, making the word "god" meaningless.

Velkyn, I am not at the point yet where it is easy for me to know. However, I hope to reach that point in the near future. I actually do want to be able to know that gods do not exist. Just realizing that I was delusional for believing in Jesus has taken a lot of deprogramming for me. Since I was so irrational as a Christian, it is actually taking me time to develop the rational thinking skills that I did not use before (embarrassing, but true). I feel that I cannot fault Carl Sagan for remaining agnostic, because I respect that he wanted definitive proof that gods do not exist, even though that may not be realistic. What proof he wanted, I do not know. Personally, I would love to go back and witness the first irrational human being that ever made up god(s). Since I cannot do that, I feel as if all I can do is try to pick apart the arguments of theists and point to the lack of evidence for the existence of god(s). I really wish that I had some sort of definitive proof that gods do not exist. I am the stubborn type of person that wishes that I could observe the universe from the Big Bang until "heat death" occurs just to make sure that no supernatural beings existed, then come back to the present and tell the theists they were wrong. Since that is never going to happen, I am trying to reach the point of gnostic atheism with the info that I have access to. Yes, I am so confused and messed up right now. I'm sure I'll get over it sometime.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2011, 09:15:31 AM »
CG, I didn't mean to be insulting.  However, I find the best way to show that any gods don't exist is to actually define what is meant by "god".

I was a Christian too, so I'm sure you'll get better.  :)
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2011, 10:10:56 AM »
Velkyn, thank you for the supportive response! I apologize for being defensive in my previous response. I'm still dealing with feelings of shame and embarrassment due to my former belief in Jesus. I feel like an adult that believed in Santa Claus.  :)
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Offline velkyn

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2011, 10:18:54 AM »
Velkyn, thank you for the supportive response! I apologize for being defensive in my previous response. I'm still dealing with feelings of shame and embarrassment due to my former belief in Jesus. I feel like an adult that believed in Santa Claus.  :)

no shame or embarassment needed.  You trusted people who you probably had very good reason to trust.  I did the same. 
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Offline Poseidon

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2012, 10:14:33 PM »
Mommy; Your reading list is most impressive. I thought I was a voracious reader but I have been bested. You have also listed some Teaching Company DVD courses, much of it by Ehrman. Wow.  You are indeed a bulldog. I like bulldogs and other kinds of dog as long as you don't spell them backward.

I have a shelf full of books dealing with fairy tales and arguments against fairy tale believers. One of them not previously mentioned is; The God Virus by Darrel W. Ray Phd. The author likens the religious sickness to a virus invasion that has no medicinal antidote. He makes some good points and he is pretty convincing with his analogy

An easy and kind of interesting read is: The Witchcraft Delusion by John M. Taylor. This is not a particulary anti religion book but it has to set one to thinking. It details the history of the incredibly atrocious executions of people accused of witchcraft or sorcery and even for the offense of conducting scientific inquiry. Christians and Catholics were, up untill the mid 1700s, doing gods work by systematicly torturing and killing other people. King James himself was a latter day ringleader in this practice. He issued an edict prescribing appropriate punishment for suspects.  He had people tortured, stoned, or burned at stake when he was not busy overseeing the construction of his famous bible.

I appreciate Stenger, Harris, Hitchens and the rest. They argue very well but theirs are not the books that influence me most. The ones who make me confident in my beliefs are cosmologists and astrophysicists and other super science types; Hubbel, Smoot, Gleick, Sagan, Overbye, Greene, Kolb, Feynman, and many more. Atheists all. If your spouse is a science enthusiast, perhaps he might be interested in that genre as an alternative to the argumentive kind.




Offline Eddy_P

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2012, 08:05:43 PM »
No offence, but that seems like the wrong order. Indoctrinate him till 18, then let him make up his mind about what he wants. IMO, he should be left alone as far as religious thought until 18, then given the choice.
I agree, but in the real world, that is not what happens.
Here in Australia, my daughters were made to go to 'Religious Instruction' at primary school.
So when they informed me, I said "That's nice, let me know when you get to study the Muslim Religion".
...blank looks and they asked "What !!"
I repeated what they said "Religious Instruction" - then added "there are many different Religions".
...oh, we are only doing Christianity" they replied.
So I simply said "Does that sound right ?"
They thought about it and said "No".
They decided to attend, but with an open and critical mind.
After a few sessions, they reported that "this Christianity stuff is full of contradictions, and seems to be just like 'fairy stories' - as there are no facts to back up their claims".
I agreed and suggested they also look at other religions.

fyi. They found that most of the other Religions also had similar 'fairy stories' along with 'no facts' to back up their claims, so I said "Welcome to the real world. Each of YOU need to make up your own minds based upon the evidence given to you"...."But Dad, they offer no evidence, just a lot of singing and comforting words".
"Yes, they do, don't they" was my reply.



Offline grant

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Re: What book would you recommend?
« Reply #52 on: October 12, 2012, 07:07:02 AM »
No offence, but that seems like the wrong order. Indoctrinate him till 18, then let him make up his mind about what he wants. IMO, he should be left alone as far as religious thought until 18, then given the choice.
I agree, but in the real world, that is not what happens.
Here in Australia, my daughters were made to go to 'Religious Instruction' at primary school.
So when they informed me, I said "That's nice, let me know when you get to study the Muslim Religion".
...blank looks and they asked "What !!"
I repeated what they said "Religious Instruction" - then added "there are many different Religions".
...oh, we are only doing Christianity" they replied.
So I simply said "Does that sound right ?"
They thought about it and said "No".
They decided to attend, but with an open and critical mind.
After a few sessions, they reported that "this Christianity stuff is full of contradictions, and seems to be just like 'fairy stories' - as there are no facts to back up their claims".
I agreed and suggested they also look at other religions.

fyi. They found that most of the other Religions also had similar 'fairy stories' along with 'no facts' to back up their claims, so I said "Welcome to the real world. Each of YOU need to make up your own minds based upon the evidence given to you"...."But Dad, they offer no evidence, just a lot of singing and comforting words".
"Yes, they do, don't they" was my reply.

Simple.
What if the hokey pokey is what its all about?